Monthly Archives: February 2010

55th Filmfare Awards : Winners List For 2009-2010

Best Actor In A Leading Role – Male
Amitabh Bachchan – Paa

Best Actor In A Leading Role (Female)
Vidya Balan – Paa

Best Film (Popular)
3 Idiots

Best Director
Rajkumar Hirani – 3 Idiots

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male)
Boman Irani – 3 Idiots

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female)
Kalki Koechlin – Dev D

Best Actor (Male) Critics
Ranbir Kapoor

Best Actor (Female) Critics
Mahie Gill – Dev D

Best Film (Critics)

Best Debut Director (Male)
Ayan Mukherjee – Wake Up Sid

Best Debut Director (Female)
Zoya Akhtar – Luck By Chance

Best Music
A R Rahman – Delhi-6

Best Playback Singer (Male)
Mohit Chauhan – Masakalli – Delhi-6

Best Playback Singer (Female)
Rekha Bharadwaj – Genda Phool – Delhi-6
Kavita Seth – Iktara – Wake Up Sid

Best Lyrics
Irshad Kamil – Aaj Din Chadiya – Love Aaj Kal

Best Story
Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani – 3 Idiots

Best Screenplay
Rajkumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Abhijat Joshi – 3 Idiots

Best Dialogue
Rajkumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra – 3 idiots

Best Editing
Sreekar Prasad – Firaaq

Best Choreography
Bosco – Caesar – Chor Bazaari – Love Aaj Kal

Best Visual Effect Award

Best Sound Design
Manas Chaudhury – Firaaq

Best Production Design
Helen & Sukant – Dev D

Best Cinematography
Rajeev Rai – Dev D

Best Action
Vijayan Master – Wanted

Best Costume
Vaishali Menon – Firaaq

Best Background Score
Amit Trivedi – Dev D

Special Award
Nandita Das – Firaaq

Lifetime Achievement Award
Shashi Kapoor – Khayyam

R D Burman Music Award
Amit Tivedi

Click here for the nominations

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Posted by on February 28, 2010 in AWARDS, bollywood, movies



Liz Hurley : Dare To Bare

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Posted by on February 27, 2010 in hollywood, lifestyle


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tell the truth, but tell it right !

A despotic sultan who was blind in one eye invited three artists to paint his picture. “If you do a bad portrait, I will punish you,” he warned, “ but if you do a good one I will reward you. Now start!”

The first artist produced a picture that showed the sultan as he was: blind in one eye. The sultan had him executed for showing disrespect to his monarch.

The second artist showed him with both eyes intact. The sultan had him flogged for trying to flatter him.

The third artist drew him in profile view, showing only his good eye. The sultan, pleased, rewarded him with gold and honors.

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Posted by on February 26, 2010 in general


Knife In The Water : Polanski’s Best In B/W

I rarely ever hitch-hike, rarely give or take a lift. I always plan my trip/journey and give myself enough buffer time, be it public transport or my own vehicle. The only time I have given a ride was to a hawaldar who wanted to get home after his duty hours. And the only time I have asked for a lift was at the behest of my friend, while in Houston standing outside Randalls with 4 polybags filled with groceries. We actually lived very close to Randalls and always walked home, but on that day my roomie was feeling really lazy and a fellow countryman pitied our state and obliged.

Anyways, this youngman in Knife In The Water, never believed in planning a trip and he never ever saw either a weather report or a compass for directions and ofcourse he never shied from asking for a ride. He came right in front of a speeding car, totally overconfident that he would not be run-over, and he actually got a ride to a destination nowhere. His arrival onto the screen was so abrupt that even Polanski did not find time enough to give him a name. Andrzej, a much older man with all wisdom and a beautiful wife Krystyna, not-so-gladly offered the youngman a ride. The couple were on their way to their boat, to enjoy a relaxed time by the lake. But this young intruder probably spoiled their plans. I use the word probably because Andrzej was not a bit hesitant when he invited the youngman to sail with them. He did not even take consent or discuss this with his wife before asking the youngman to join them and make him a party to their private moments.

Now, what is it with men that they do anything to seek a woman’s attention and/or to display their oneupmanship over the other! Yes, the same old pseudo-machismo came into play where Andrzej showed off his sailing experience and know-how and commanded the youngman to do all kinds of jobs with the sail, mast and tying-untying knots. But the youngman was not a bit embarassed about these trivialities, instead he showed his skills with his small penknife when he ran it between the fingers of his outstretched palms. Yes, that requires some talent and lot of guts too. So, while both men were occupied in their ego clash, Krystyna was busy cavorting in a two piece bikini, preparing soup and sunbathing in the boat. All this right infront of the youngman, without even doubting his nature or intention.

By the time the movie reached the half-way mark, I was still as confused then as I was when the movie began; never really understanding what the movie was about. There had to be a twist to the tale or some unforseen incident which would make the movie a little more interesting. But nothing was happening, the 3 of them had supper and drinks, played a few silly games and then hit the sack after setting an alarm for 5am as Andrzej had a meeting to attend at 9am, the next day.

Krystyna woke up much before the alarm went off, and to her surprise the youngman was already up. They were chatting when Andrzej opened his eyes and found his wife and the youngman to be out of his sight. He pocketed the youngman’s knife and then climbed to the deck. He was quite relieved to find the youngman on top of the mast and his wife sitting by the deck. There was a minor altercation between the two in which, first his knife went down the lake and then he did. But alas! he knew no swimming, or so he had confided earlier. The couple took chances to dive into the lake to find the youngman, but they couldn’t. They got back to the deck. Krystyna accused Andrzej of provoking the youngman and she even belittled his cheap antics which were just meant to scare the guy and boost his own ego. Being unable to take this insult, Andrzej made another attempt in a bid to find the youngman.

Does the youngman drown? If he does, would Andrzej forgive himself? Will Krystyna forgive him for the silly duel and will Andrzej forgive her if he gets to know that she cheated on him. How the movie ends is for you to find out, all I can say is that the couple return much wiser and with better understanding of each oher. While Andrzej is guilt-ridden with the thought of having killed the youngman, Krystyna is guilt-ridden with the thought of having having shared passionate moments with the youngman. How they face each other and handle life from here onwards, is the last and defining moment of the movie.

KITW was the first full length movie of Polanski. Shot in black and white, the movie captures the minute details of sailing and boats very well. Although the setup is a lake, we never really feel the absence of the blue waters mainly because the screenplay is so engaging. The tension between the 3 people on board is pretty palpable, and the ego clash is well handled. The movie was brilliantly shot and the jazz music makes for fantastic background score. This movie, made in 1962, was the first Polish movie to receive Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language movie. A special mention should be made of the performances of the 3 main leads, who showed a lot of restraint.

This is part of a post that was first published on PFC


Posted by on February 24, 2010 in movies, world cinema


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agar tum mil jao

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Posted by on February 22, 2010 in bollywood, movies


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mariah : brazilian hottie from ‘teen patti’

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Posted by on February 20, 2010 in bollywood, movies


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Ind-SA 2nd Test : India Wins, Series Is Drawn

It took some great batting from Sehwag, Tendulkar, Laxman and Dhoni to post the imposing total which finally got us the innings win. But Amla, the one man whose committment almost thwarted India’s chances of victory, almost achieved the impossible. Winning a test match in the last two overs was nothing short of a one-day experience. Harbhajan held his nerves to bowl that delivery.

India won the match, drew the test-series and retained the No.1 ranking in tests with that last wicket of Morkel. Great win!

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Posted by on February 18, 2010 in cricket


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My name is Khan, and I am not a perfectionist

mnikI had no plans of watching this movie. So, all of Friday evening and Saturday morning I kept looking for tickets of Ishqiya and Valentine’s Day; so I could celebrate love on that day. But thanks to the ‘n’ number of prints of MNIK, other movies hardly had any good show-timings. I left it at that and just shutdown the laptop.

Come Sunday morning and something had to be done, we drove round the city from Koramangala to Marathalli, heading for Forum Value Mall. But soemthing inside made me take a right at this junction and stop at Innovative. I wanted to quickly run-in and check if Ishqiya was still available but no, I was a bit late for that. With no choice left, I picked up 2 tickets for MNIK for 3pm.

2.50pm, and we were outside the auditorium. We walked in quitely and sat in our seat. In a few moments I was beaming with pride. Fox-Searchlights presents… wow! Fox presenting an Indian movie, that really felt nice. The movie had hardly begun and SRK had already mouthed the lines ‘MNIK, and I am not a terrorist’. Quite a few people turned up late for the show, but they did not miss a thing. The movie was far too slow for that.

Within 50 minutes I was yawning and did not know where to rest my head, on my shoulder or in my palms covering my eyes. The movie was nauseatically manipulative. When a director makes the audience feel for the character, it works well. But when he tries to force something down the throat, all we can do is puke. Here, I did not feel anything for the character because there was no build-up. We could easily see-through the motive, and how contrived it was; just to get the audience to react emotionally. The message was nice, there are just good and bad people. But they went on and on with it; not sparing a sinlge opportunity to use this line to effect.

mnikLot of things were loud, as expected in Karan Johar movie. But I would not like to blame him entirely. SRK was the co-producer and he must take blame for the bad product too. Let me shed light on some of the glaring and obvious over-statements of the movie. All through the movie SRK is in blazer and trouser and other essential casuals. But during the 9/11 homage, he turns up in a blistering white pathan-suit and with a skull-cap. WTF! Why did he suddenly go out of character? And if that was not enough, he suddenly starts chanting verses from Quran, only to exaggerate the Islamic-phobia. That was a dis-service to the the community, more harm than good was achieved and Karan stereotyped the faith. All through Rizvan’s childhood, they neither showed him offering namaz; nor did he ever witness his ammi offering one. But conveniently they slip him into namaz mode only because they happened to write a golden line ‘namaz neeyat se padhi jaati hai’. Intentions are good, no doubt; but over-exaggerated, trying hard to pull every string of human emotions.

Another point of contention is Kajol’s addressing of SRK. Pre-marital mode, she called him Rizwan; but suddenly after marriage she starts calling him Khan. Who calls their hubby by their surname or last-name? But no, Karan Johar cannot cinematically drive home a point; so he has to drill it down by way of dialogs. So, we know that Khan caused the problems and not Rizvan. And last of my complains is with meeting-the-Prez scene. It was shown that SRK did not like shaking hands and he just says a ‘Hi’. But when he meets the Prez, he shakes his hands. No problem with that at all, special situations call for special greeting. But, he says ‘Salaam Walekkum’ to the Prez and not a ‘Hi’. Why? Why in the name of Lord would he do that, if not to show an Islamic pride. I would not have minded this, if he had greeted everyone in the movie with ‘Salaam Walekkum’, but he chooses that moment to say it. How suggestive is that?

As already mentioned before, the movie was long drawn and boring. Kajol’s wailing scene was overdone, reminded me of Karishma’s screech in Fiza; but Fiza at least deserved that scene. Here its done only to make sure that Kajol walks away with all the awards. I am quite sure SRK will also win awards and accolades for it, and not just Indian felicitation but international awards too. Karan will have some more trophies to adorn his showcase. But, do they deserve it! That’s the question they should ask themselves.

Rizvan Khan could have been a simple man with simple needs and how he reacts to post-9/11. But they chose to make him autistic because it suited the purpose of trying to show the inherent innocence of the character and his lack of knowledge of the way this world works; thereby seeing people in black or white with no shades of gray. I felt Jimmy Shergill’s character should have had a better progression than SRK’s, simply because he has done all the hardwork and obtained a scholarship, he has been loyal to the country and still his wife comes under fire. So, his charcater should have grown more and some substanial points should have been made through him. But Karan used Jimmy as a prop, that was a wrong move.

I have one last issue to bring up. Instead of first tackling and speaking about how muslims are discriminated in US, shouldn’t SRK see that back-home in India, in fact in western part of Inida, there were 2 major riots; Gujarat riots and Bombay riots. So, first let us solve our issues and douse the fire at home, then talk about the problems that muslims, not just Indian muslims, face in US. But they don’t have the balls to do that. Firstly, the movie may have got stuck with censors and if not, then the people on other side of the fence would have opposed the release of the movie. So, they took the more convenient path of blaming all ills on the general intelligensia and taking liberty in showing FBI’s iron-fist and tough security measures at airports; thereby generating more sympathy for the character. I would rather watch a stark portrayal of the after-effects of riots in movies like Parzania, Firaaq, Aamir than watch a glossed up and emotionally manipulative movie like this. These guys should just stick to candyfloss stuff rather than take such serious issue and make a mockery of it. By the way, can anyone tell me what was khan’s SSN number and what kind of visa was issued to him?

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Posted by on February 16, 2010 in bollywood, movie review, movies


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aishwarya on my bonnet

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Posted by on February 15, 2010 in bollywood


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Before Sunrise … brilliance of Richard Linklater

It’s Valentine’s Day so I thought I would write about one of the most romantic movies that I’ve seen – Before Sunrise, released in 1995. The best part of the romance is that, its not candyfloss, its not filmy, there are hardly any lovey-dovey scenes, no external agents helping them realize that its love, no one advising what they should do next, in fact … there are no characters except the two main leads. All we have is two characters who are very much relatable, believable and earthy, a fantastic situation, beautiful locales and most importantly…wonderful conversations.

The first time I saw the movie, I was blown away. Most parts of the movie were shot with a steadicam and there are lots of long-takes because the entire movie is in real time, which looks so natural and gives it a new dimension and meaning. The writer/director of the movie Richard Linklater has done a brilliant job, and the two leads Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are marvellous. The acting is so effortless that it goes unnoticed. The wonderful thing about the movie is the spontaneous reaction of the two main leads and how they feed-of-each-other. They make you believe that they are having a real-time conversation. The long-shots are just incredible and the continuous chat, the plethora of topics that they cover is amazing. It must have taken so much effort to learn those lines and do it in a single take. And this brings in the honesty of the characters, how they interact, take cues from each other and they don’t let the locales or the situation disturb them a wee bit. Full credit for this should go to the creator Richard Linklater.

Jesse[Ethan Hawke] lands up in Europe[Madrid, to be precise] to meet his girlfriend only to learn that she does not like him anymore. So, its 16th June, and Jesse is on a Eurorail travelling to Vienna to take a flight back to US, the next morning. Celine[Julie Delpy] is in the same train and she is on her way to Paris, returning to her university after paying a short visit to her granny in Budapest. Amidst all the bickerings going on in the train they strike a conversation starting with something as simple as where they come from. While describing himself, Jesse adds “I’m the crude, dumb, vulgar American… who doesn’t speak other languages, who has no culture. But I tried”.

They go on to share their life and ideas. Jesse talks about this reality tv show that he would like to broadcast where people are just doing their routine stuff and they relay it live. And Celine speaks about how her parents have always asked her to focus on career. When she desired to ‘write’ as a career option, they would say ‘journalist’; and when she mentioned opening a shelter for cats they would say ‘veterinarian’. They would turn all her fantasy ideas into salaried occupation. Anyways, when Vienna arrives and Jesse is about to get-off the train he suggests Celine that she accompany him. Basically, he feels a strong connect with her and he wishes to continue the interesting conversation that they were having, so he suggests that they roam the streets of Vienna together. He says “Jump ahead 10, 20 years, okay? And you’re married. Only your marriage doesn’t have that same energy it used to have. You start to blame your husband. You think about all those guys you’ve met in your life…and what might’ve happened if you’d picked up with one of them. I’m one of those guys. That’s me”.

You wont believe that the above line was translated in Hindi and Saif spoke the exact same words while trying to convince Preity Zinta in Salaam Namaste about giving the live-in relationship a try. What a shame, I cringed in my seat when I heard those very same words.

Anyways, getting back to Celine, she decides that she must take a chance and she gets off the train. And after more than 15 minutes of having met each other they finally exchange greetings and ask each other’s names. This is so real, such things happen all the time. We get into a conversation with people, the conversation ends and only if we find the conversation/person interesting do we ask their names. Fantastic observation, scripting and direction.

The storyline is really thin, but the screenplay is tight. The way one scene flows into the next, the transition is almost unnoticeable because the conversation that they have is really engaging. The dialogues are very well written and shows what a keen observer and a clear thinker Richard Linklater is. The talks between Jesse and Celine don’t bore you for a moment, in fact it does the opposite – it makes you wait for the next sequence, the next topic of chat, what opinions/ideas are they going to exchange next!

After getting off the Eurorail, they wander around Vienna asking each other weird questions like their first sexual feelings, about love, about what pisses them off. They have some really meaningful conversations about how they hate war mongerig people and how media is controlling the thought-process of a so many people and thats its a new form of fascism. Jesse speaks of reincarnation … “this was my thought: 50,000 years ago, there are not even a million people on the planet. 10,000 years ago, there’s, like, two million people on the planet. Now there’s between five and six billion people on the planet, right? Now, if we all have our own, like, individual, unique soul, right, where do they all come from? You know, are modern souls only a fraction of the original souls? ‘Cause if they are, that represents a 5,000 to 1 split of each soul in the last 50,000 years, which is, like, a blip in the Earth’s time. You know, so at best we’re like these tiny fractions of people, you know, walking…I mean, is that why we’re so scattered? You know, is that why we’re all so specialized?”

This was spooky, because my brother and I had a similar discussion on Bhagvad Gita. We were talking about the body-soul concept and how a soul moves from one body to another, but when the bodies suddenly multiplied…how did the souls cope-up, they disintegrated! Phew! That was one metaphysical thought and I could never have imagined such an idea creeping into a movie dialogue. Just amazing!

Later they visit a No-Name-Cemetery where all the people who had flowed down the river Danube were buried ; and because in most cases they were anonymous the cemetery came to be called so. Jesse and Celine go onto discuss relationships, couples, divorce and how kids live with it. Celine says “I know happy couples. But I think they lie to each other”; I too believe that if we become totally honest about everything, a relationship may not last.

They enter an old church where they talk about religion and atheism. Jesse tells how he feels like a 13 yr old boy inside, still waiting to grow up while Celine says that she has the burden of an old woman waiting to die. Two diametrically opposite views and the natural spontaneous reaction to the same situation and place, brilliant!

Apart from the wonderful conversations, they also meet quite a few interesting people while they are moving around like a vagabond. One of them being an enigmatic palm reader who just says nice pleasing stuff. They meet 2 guys trying to promote a play and then a street-poet who writes poems on-the-spot based on their choice of words. What a noble thought, creativity…he does not beg for money but comes up with exotic idea for occupation. Jesse and Celine choose the word milkshake[although Jesse wanted to give the word rooster-prick] and the street-poet comes up with a delusion angel poem.

I can’t start describing every conversation; the movie is filled with them. Just quoted a few of the interesting ones. In one such conversation Celine says how feminism is a concept invented by men who say ‘free your mind, free your body’ … so more men could sleep/fool around with women. They discuss male chauvinism and position of women in society. They even spoof a telephone conversation, that was really cute. At the strike of dawn, they settle down in a park and wonder why people think that relationships should last forever. They resign to the fact that they will not be able to meet again and Celine suggests that they should not sleep together because she does not want to end-up as a male fantasy of an American having met a French girl, fucked her and never seen her again. While Jesse does not want to get laid he does say that “If somebody gave me the choice right now… of to never see you again or to marry you…I would marry you”.

Without revealing what happens next, let me just say that when they split the next morning, they decide to meet at the same platform [track 9] in exactly 6 months time on 16th December [a la An Affair To Remember]. And in-between they would neither call nor write to each other.

Although the movie is about just one night, probably 15-20 hrs, it gives the warmth and feel of a really long lovestory. The success of the movie lies in the fact that it does not take an eternity to unfold, just two characters seem more than enough to make us re-live all the basic human emotions like love, hate, sorrow, happiness, tears, anguish, fear, anxiety, excitement etc; and the fact that you start relating to the characters and feel their pain and joy and you start hoping and wishing for the best future that they possibly can have. That’s the triumph of true love; but we are left with a shot of the train leaving the station with Jesse in it, Celine on the platform waving ‘adios’ and the viewers wondering if Jesse and Celine will ever meet again.

This post was first published on PFC


Posted by on February 14, 2010 in hollywood, movie review, movies


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